Plan for new Greenwood hotel sparks debate

UPDATE – The Greenwood Plan Commission voted unanimously to give the rezoning plan an unfavorable recommendation Monday night.  The matter will now go to the Greenwood City Council March 5.  The Council will have the final say in whether the land will be rezoned.

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GREENWOOD, Ind. – Plans to build a new hotel along Stones Crossing Road is sparking debate among residents and business owners in Greenwood.

Amanda Cottingham, owner of the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, hopes to rezone 6.5 acres of her property for commercial use in hopes of building a boutique hotel next to the inn. The hotel would primarily serve guests who travel from out of town to attend weddings, galas and other events at the Bay Horse Inn. But it would also serve other visitors to Greenwood, according to spokesperson Corey Elliot.

“When you’re traveling for a wedding or you want to come to one of the galas that’s out here or one of the events, one of the last things you want to have to deal with is having to decide if you want to go because you don’t have a place to stay, and you have a long drive there and back,” Elliot said.

Elliot and Cottingham say the hotel would be designed to match the rustic, quaint feel of the Bay Horse Inn. It would be located between the Bay Horse Inn and Stones Crossing Road. They say the hotel is needed because the event center hosts more than 100 events a year and many of their guests have to travel several miles to the nearest hotel after attending a celebration.

“It would make a whole lot of sense if we had our own property less than a minute walk away from the Barn at Bay Horse Inn for these folks to go home and rest safely for the evening,” Elliot said.

Elliot said guests who drink alcohol at events would not have to worry about driving or using ride sharing services in order to reach their hotel.

“Am I in good shape to drive, or should I call a ride sharing option, or anything like that,” Elliot said. “We want to take that pressure off the customer.”

The rezoning request has drawn opposition from some who live in the nearby Cobblestone subdivision. Neighborhood spokesperson Jason Mizen says many of his neighbors are concerned with the extra noise and traffic a nearby hotel would bring. They also have concerns about commercial zoning along Stones Crossing Road hurting home values.

“Now you’ve got random drivers that get lost, they’ll just cut through the neighborhood and make it back out,” Mizen said. “It just brings a different crowd throughout the community.”

Mizen said he’s also concerned that allowing the 6.5 acres to be rezoned for commercial use could pave the way for more commercial developments in the future.

“What’s to say that in another two years that they don’t ask for more of their property and now we’re just creeping on down and eating up all the residential homes,” Mizen said.

Cottingham says she has no plans for future commercial development on her 15 acres of property after the hotel is built. She also believes the hotel is far enough away from the neighborhood that it would not cause any disruptions for residents in Cobblestone.

Competing online polls show support and opposition to the plan. A poll to oppose the hotel plan had garnered 237 votes on Monday afternoon. A poll to support the plan had collected 468 names.

The Greenwood Plan Commission was expected to hear the rezoning proposal and listen to public comments Monday night at 7 p.m. The Plan Commission will make their recommendation on the matter before the Greenwood City Council takes up the matter in the coming weeks.

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